How to Cook an Artichoke and Many Ways to Eat ’Em

Don’t let the artichoke’s tough exterior intimidate you. Learn how to cook an artichoke, and check out our array of artichoke recipes.

| April/May 2012

An artichoke is a beast — but you can tame it. It’s almost as much work to eat one as it is to prepare one, but that’s what makes it worth it. The flavor is sweet, vegetal and rich. With each bite you savor, you’ll appreciate each minute of exacting work it took to get you there.

Celebrated chef Thomas Keller says life’s greatest challenge is “to maintain passion for the everyday routine and the endlessly repeated act, to derive deep gratification from the mundane.” And he sees the preparation of artichokes as the pinnacle of rising to that challenge. “You may look at your artichokes and think, ‘Look at all those artichokes I’ve got to cut and clean.’ But turning them — pulling off the leaves, trimming their stems, scooping out the chokes, pulling your knife around its edge — that is cooking.”

How to Cook an Artichoke

You’ll need an artichoke, a lemon and plenty of melted butter.

1. You only want the best, so get rid of the rest: Tear off the tough outer leaves, and cut off the stem and the top third. Use scissors to snip off any sharp leaf tips that remain.

2. You want it pretty. Rub and squeeze the cut side of half a lemon all over the artichoke to keep it sprightly and green.

3. Drop the artichoke into boiling water or set it upside down in a steamer, cooking until a knife slides easily into the stem end (about 40 minutes), or cook it for 10 minutes in a pressure cooker. Meanwhile, relax and enjoy a couple of chapters from that book you’ve been neglecting. Finally, set a simple table with a small plate, a soup bowl, a fork and a ramekin ... all for yourself.

5/11/2014 6:57:43 AM

I've never eaten an artichoke but my son has just been allocated an allotment in Easton (Bristol) so maybe I could ask him to plant some for us to try :D

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